Cover image for Ulysses S. Grant : an album
Ulysses S. Grant : an album
McFeely, William S.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2003]

Physical Description:
xii, 144 pages : illustrations, 27 cm
Attributed to slavery : Grant and the meaning of war -- Love story : Julia and Ulyss -- Presenting a general : photographers at work -- No pen portray : Grant and the meaning of war -- Havens and houses : the peripatetic Grants -- Waifs abroad : around the world with General Grant -- Grant's book : personal memoirs of U.S. Grant.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E672 .M155 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Acclaimed historian William S. McFeely has assembled a dramatic collection of photographs that reveals the people, places, and events that shaped the life of one of the towering figures of American history. Treating seven aspects of Grant's life (1822-1885), McFeely gives us both the private man and the public figure. Grant's view on slavery, his love life, the houses he lived in, his understanding of war--particularly the Civil War--and the trip around the world that he and his wife Julia took (with remarkable illustrations made at the time) are all here. We watch photographers create a hero out of an obscure officer and enhance our understanding of Grant's remarkable Personal Memoirs. A beautiful volume, essential for the library of any Civil War buff, this book offers a wealth of images that illuminate the man and his times in a way that words alone cannot.

Author Notes

McFeely has written the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Grant, as well as other important works of history. He lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

McFeely is a historian who won the Pulitzer Prize for Grant: A Biography (2002). Here he has not attempted to provide a comprehensive portrait of the man and his life.\b Rather, he has assembled a scrapbook of drawings, photos,\b and paintings that illuminate various stages of Grant's personal and public life. They are accompanied by text that focuses on specific aspects of his character and career. There are interesting, and sometimes surprisingly critical, passages revealing Grant's successes and shortcomings in dealing with emancipated slaves. The section on his relationship with his wife, Julia, illustrates just how firm and passionate a relationship they maintained over decades. The drawings and photos covering his world travels after his presidency convey a sense of a man\b cut adrift from the centers of power that he had learned to enjoy. Readers who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the man and his times should read McFeely's earlier biography, but this is a useful look at various aspects of Grant's life. --Jay Freeman Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of General Grant now offers this "album" of his life and works. The selection of 100 photographs and illustrations (deserving praise goes to researcher Neil Giordano) is superior, considering that only one pre-Civil War photograph of Grant exists. They do, however, lack captions, and the descriptions of them in the text are not always properly placed for easy identification. The text presents other problems: not all of McFeely's seven essays on different aspects of Grant-emancipator, fond husband, photographic subject, world traveler, author of a superb autobiography-are equally well composed, and the pieces on Grant's opposition to slavery don't say enough about how he managed Reconstruction as president. The author also goes to the lengths of referring to Julia Grant as "silly" without supporting his case. The essay on the photographs of Grant is concise and cogent, however, and includes some wartime magazine illustrations that have to be seen to be believed. McFeely also does full justice to Grant's memoirs. One has the feeling that the author returned to this familiar subject as something of a labor of love, without conceding anything to the novice student of Grant or the Civil War. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Twenty-two years after publishing his Pulitzer Prize-winning Grant: A Biography, McFeely has again turned his attention to this captivating American icon, whose life, replete with supreme triumphs and stinging failures, seems so emblematic of the age. McFeely has assembled a photo collection focusing on the issues, people, and events that shaped Grant and upon which he left his own indelible imprint. The seven topical chapters, while not strictly chronological, span Grant's entire life and include an insightful examination of his marriage to Julia Dent and an interesting portrayal of how his meteoric rise in the Union army was reflected in press photographs. A recurring theme is the plight of black Americans and the impact their struggle had upon Grant, especially as a general and President. McFeely examines Grant's paradoxical attitude toward blacks, at times so ambivalent and at others so actively supportive. While not as satisfying as Lawrence Frost's more comprehensive and amply illustrated Grant: A Pictorial Biography (o.p.), McFeely's critical insights into Grant's life will interest Civil War enthusiasts. Recommended for large public libraries.-Edward Metz, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Ft. Leavenworth, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
1. "Attributed to Slavery": Grant and the Meaning of the Civil Warp. 3
2. Love Story: Julia and Ulyssp. 29
3. Presenting a General: Photographers at Workp. 47
4. "No Pen Portray": Grant and the Meaning of Warp. 65
5. Havens and Houses: The Peripatetic Grantsp. 83
6. Waifs Abroad: Around the World with General Grantp. 101
7. Grant's Book: Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grantp. 127
Acknowledgmentsp. 139
Illustrations and Creditsp. 141